So far it seems as though swine flu isn’t co-operating with the governments/media’s plan to turn into a pandemic. So far behaving no differently from any other seasonal flu. Of course the more cynical among us might wonder if the rapidly approaching end of shelf life for all those tamiflu capsules the government bought for bird flu back in 2005 has any relevance, it’s certainly hasn’t done Roche‘s share price any harm in the past. According to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation the shelf life of Tamiflu capsules is 5 years in capsule form but with 2 million doses stock piled from 2005 at about £100 a dose that’s a bit of change about to expire.
Meanwhile whilst the rest of us are being suitably afraid or not, perhaps it’s British pig farmers who have most to fear. With Egypt already using swine flu as an excuse to kill off it’s pig farms can DEFRA be far behind? Private eye and others have long documented DEFRAs apparent dislike of British farming, especially it seems small farms, so if this initial out break doesn’t give them an excuse for a cull they can always repeat the same trick as they used for foot and mouth and release the virus again from their own labs.
Across the pond, and remember this all started in America Fox are wondering what impact swine flu might have on civil liberties (hat tip Towards Mutual Benefit). For the record I’m still fairly convinced that it’s far more likely that it will be some out break of disease that triggers the civil contingencies act and not terrorists (unless of course no obliging disease happens along).
Mind I still haven’t got my leaflet from the government telling me what to worry about.